Daily Mail launches McKinnon campaign
Wheelie-bin warriors mobilised in support of Pentagon hacker
The Daily Mail has launched a high-profile campaign supporting Gary McKinnon's fight against extradition to the USA.
The red-baiting, Romany-hating paper criticises US authorities for treating a "naive hacker" interested in uncovering evidence of extraterrestrial life on poorly-secured Pentagon systems as a dangerous cyber-saboteur.
The paper also lambasts UK politicians for meekly going along with US demands in a front-page article. An associated online petition to the new Home Secretary, Alan Johnson, calls on him to use his discretion in order to block extradition proceedings against McKinnon, a recently diagnosed sufferer of Asperger's Syndrome.
Such a move would allow for McKinnon to be tried in the UK, avoiding the trauma of a US trial followed by the likelihood of an extended spell behind bars.
The wholehearted support of the influential daily paper is a major fillip to the McKinnon campaign, which has already attracted high-profile supporters including Pink Floyd's David Gilmour, London mayor Boris Johnson and former Beirut hostage Terry Waite.
Lord Carlile, the independent reviewer of anti-terror laws, and Oscar-winning actress Julie Christie have also voiced support for McKinnon's fight against extradition.
McKinnon admits taking advantage of weak password security to root around US military and NASA systems back in 2001 and 2002 but denies claims that he caused $700,000 in damage in the process. He was first arrested and questioned by UK cops in 2002, but it wasn't until 2005 that the US began extradition proceedings.
The long-running campaign against extradition included failed appeals to the House of Lords and the European Court of Human Rights last summer. These legal actions happened before McKinnon was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome.
McKinnon's last hope against avoiding extradition rests with two judges who are due to review the decision by UK prosecutors not to prosecute McKinnon in the UK during a hearing scheduled for Tuesday, 14 July. The same two judges - Lord Justice Stanley Burnton and Mr Justice Wilkie - heard arguments that the then Home Secretary Jacqui Smith was wrong to allow McKinnon's extradition to proceed following his diagnosis with a mild form of autism at an earlier hearing.
A decision on the first hearing was "reserved" pending consideration of the other judicial review. ®
> cup of tea
Well, as it happens I just got my mitts on a rather nice flowery Darjeeling oolong "fresh" from this spring, it's a direct import too, so if you feel like it we could share a cup... unless you're more in the mood for a -rather dryer- pu-er from the 2000 vintage, or a more honey-tasting white tea? That's if your obvious Japanes roots let you dring anything else than a good Sencha (of which I have a couple very good kinds). In any case, the kettle is on the oven. I repeat, the kettle is on the oven.
Oh, and we'll obviously avoid talking about Gary McKinnon, who is obviously quite a lame composer (even though it's probably *not* a good reason to extradite him. The UK is not Canada!).
Forgot about title
The whole point of being a citizen of a nation is so you're safe from the other crazy countries. If I sent a blasphemous email to someone in Saudi Arabia, would that mean I commited a capital crime there? Of course not! I may have blasphemed (which was technically a crime here until recently) but if I was to be tried it would be in the UK. Same thing if I scam money from someone in Nigeria. I'll get punished, but not in Nigeria.
The US is just embarrassed, but that shouldn't mean we have to offer some kind of sacrifice to appease them.
Harder to shift then a Labour MP; I wonder if he's hoping for a future career in Politics?